A Primer on Acid Reflux
A common misconception is that acid reflux is caused by too much acid in the stomach. Actually, it can be because there is too little acid in the stomach. Most commonly, though, it is a result of a sluggish digestive tract, food becomes over acidified and basically bubbles back up the esophagus. Acid reducing drugs prevent this from happening, but as anyone who has acid reflux knows, they work only as long as they are taken regularly, and the problem returns when the drugs are stopped. Also, most antacids have aluminum in them which is toxic to the body and is now proven to be related to Alzheimer’s Disease. Over time, the esophagus can become damaged from the presence of acid, causing a constricted feeling after eating, as if the food won’t move down. The only long term solution to acid reflux requires more than just taking a medication. Cleansing, along with diet and lifestyle changes can not only make eating enjoyable again, but can improve other physical aspects of the body.
Most people believe that when you eat the food you swallow is deposited into a pool of acid in the stomach. Eventually that happens, but first the food is ‘pre-digested’ by enzymes, and hopefully your good chewing habits!
Nature intended us to eat a diet rich in raw foods which are high in digestive enzymes. It is also intended that food be chewed completely, meaning it should not be ‘chunky’ when swallowed. Chewing food completely mixes the enzymes contained in saliva into the food which then begins the digestive process. The body manufactures it’s own enzymes, but the amount of enzymes we produce decreases as we age. This may explain why foods you could eat without problems a few years ago, now gives you indigestion.
When the food reaches the stomach, a protein digesting enzyme, Pepsin, is released into the mix. After being processed in the stomach this, nutrient rich, acidic ‘bolus of chyme’ is moved along by peristaltic action to the small intestine where it is alkalized by the pancreas and more digestive enzymes are introduced. Acid reflux occurs when food sits too long in the stomach becoming overly acidic, when there are too little enzymes produced to properly process the food or if there is too little hydrochloric acid and pepsin to properly finish breaking down the food. Cooked and processed foods contain very little if any enzymes, inhibiting the digestive process.
Another cause of acid reflux can be from improper food combining. Proteins and carbohydrates are processed differently in the body. Enzymes in saliva begin to break down carbohydrates and the digestive process is begun almost immediately. Proteins require pepsin in order to be digested, which is released by the stomach, therefore proteins are not digested until they enter the stomach. When carbohydrates and proteins are combined in the same meal the body uses its enzymes and energy to process the carbs first, in sort of a ‘first come, first served’ method. The more difficult to digest proteins are put ‘on hold’ until the carbs have been processed. By then, it is common that the digestive enzyme supply is depleted and well as the energy allowance the body had in reserve for digestion. This is often manifested as the feeling after a meal, that you have swallowed a brick and/or the desire to lie down and take a nap. Proper food combining is a method of combining foods in a meal that will compliment and enhance the digestive process. People often report significant improvement in they way they feel following a meal after they begin practicing food combining, including less acid reflux.
Cleansing the bowel of impacted fecal matter also improves digestion, allowing for better transit time in the digestive tract. Colon Hydrotherapy is an extremely effective manner in which to improve digestion and metabolism. A clean colon efficiently removes toxins from the liver and bloodstream and allows for improved liver function (essential to good digestion) and better absorption of nutrients. Restoring the digestive tract to an efficient state, with the use of Colon Hydrotherapy, proper chewing and food combining are some of the major steps in reducing unwanted conditions such as acid reflux. Adding the use of digestive enzymes to supplement the enzymes made by the body is also very beneficial. Aloe vera juice or gel can be ingested in therapeutic amounts to sooth and heal an acid damaged esophagus. These fairly simple, yet extremely effective methods yield fast, long lasting results. Other benefits of cleansing, food combining and enzyme replacement can include, weight loss, improved allergies and skin conditions, better sleep patterns and of course more enjoyable meals.